Almost a year on, experts see no end in sight for the Qatar crisis.
“The Qatar crisis is a zero-sum game, and as long as Shaikh Hamad rules Qatar from behind the scenes, Doha’s obistancy will continue and there will be no solution in sight to the row,” Dr Ebtisam Al Ketbi, President of the Emirates Policy Centre said yesterday.
Dr Al Ketbi told a symposium on the ‘Crisis in Qatar: A Year of Obstinacy’, almost one year since the eruption of the Qatari crisis, it has become more evident that Doha’s policies do not serve the interests of GCC nations. “Moreover, we have become more convinced than ever that Qatar has established its regional role, interests and foreign policies in a manner contrary to those of GCC nations. Definitely, that conviction was behind the decision made by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain to boycott Qatar with the aim of sending a message to Qatar that its policy of supporting terrorism and extremism in the region, including against GCC countries, and opposing their interests, must come to an end,” Dr Al Ketbi said.
On June 5 last year, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed their diplomatic relations with Qatar and closed their airspace and ports to Qatar-registered planes and ships over accusations it was supporting terrorist and extremist groups.
The row has led to a regional polarisation between Qatar, Iran and Turkey on the one side, and the Arab Quartet and other countries on the other.